Boeing leaves the Paris air show convinced of the strength of overall jetliner demand and the appeal of its 737 MAX 200, despite losing a bid to sell the high-density jet to a Hungarian low-cost carrier, a senior executive said.
Boeing ended the trade days of the June 15-21 show with orders and commitments for 331 aircraft worth $50.2 billion, lagging rival Airbus’ total of 421 planes worth $57 billion.
Boeing was ahead on the number of firm orders, however, which reached 154 against 124 for Airbus.
“I think it does talk about the resiliency of the market. We continue to be on track to have a book-to-bill (in 2015) above 1,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“That is very good in terms of what really counts, which is the delivery competition,” Tinseth said
Boeing is predicting 750-755 aircraft deliveries in 2015.
The show ended with a surprise order for 110 Airbus A321neo aircraft from Wizz Air. Boeing had been hoping to dislodge its rival as the Hungarian carrier’s exclusive supplier and win a second customer for a 200-seat version of its 737 MAX.
“We see a great market for low-cost carriers over the next five, 10, 20 years,” Tinseth said. “It is an airplane that will come to the market in 2019 so we have got some time to work, but we think it is the best possible airplane for that low-cost carrier market.
“Look at who has endorsed it: Ryanair. They have been pretty successful and are one of a handful of investment-grade airlines throughout the world.”
Airbus says its A321neo, which for Wizz Air will seat 239 people, is more efficient. Boeing says its 737 MAX 200, which in practice would seat about 197 people in Ryanair’s layout, is a “game changer” for budget carriers.